Notable Programs

Lectures, Film Screenings, Readings, Theater Performances, & More!

The CJS has presented some of world Jewry’s leading scholars, theologians, filmmakers, musicians, writers, and theater companies to the campus and community. Speakers have included Amos Oz, Eli Evans, Eric and Carol Meyers, Jodi Magness, David Blumenthal, Aviva Kempner, Melissa Hacker, Ruth Gruber, Kenneth Stein, Cynthia Ozick, Daniel Matt, Yehuda Amichai, Gershom Gorenberg, Christopher Browning, Ilan Stavans, Danny Maseng, Rodger Kamenetz, Julius Lester, Rabbi Jill Jacobs, Jay Michaelson, Richard Elliott Friedman, Peter Cole, James Young, and many others. 

We have hosted film screenings and directors’ talks, including “My Knees Were Jumping: Remembering the Kindertransports,” “Partisans of Vilna,” “From Swastika to Jim Crow,” “Where Neon Goes to Die,” and “The Long Way Home.” We have also hosted a performance and residency by A Traveling Jewish Theatre.

Occasionally, the CJS hosts forums that bring together several scholars, artists, and others for several days to explore topical themes. Recent forums have included Crossing Bridges: Jewish and African-American Relations; Judaism and Buddhism; Understanding Israel; Healing in Judaism and Other Religious Traditions; and In and Out of Tradition: Encounters with Contemporary Jewish Writers.

Thanks to the generosity of Bob and Carol Deutsch, the CJS has presented a number of concerts and workshops for local musicians and singers. These events have been dedicated to the memory of Alfred and Bernice Deutsch. Performers have included Voice of the Turtle, David Krakauer and Klezmer Madness, and Danny Maseng. 

The CJS has also hosted other musical events, including performances and workshops by The Klezmatics and Brave Old World.

While they are on campus, visiting scholars and artists meet with students in classes and at other informal gatherings.

The Sollod Lecture

This annual lecture, endowed by Dr. Norman Sollod in memory of his wife Phyllis Freed Sollod, began in 1990 with Aviva Cantor’s lecture on “The Feminization of Jewish Patriarchy” and has continued to bring memorable speakers to UNCA and the community.

The Asheville Jewish Film Festival

Along with the Fine Arts Theatre and other organizations, the CJS has presented the Asheville Jewish Film Festival since 2006.